Darren Till understands how distractions can hinder growth in an MMA career. When Till was a teenager, he was stabbed during a fight in a nightclub, causing his coach to suggest he move to Brazil to focus on his fighting career away from distractions. But despite his best efforts to block out all distractions ahead of his welterweight title shot against Tyron Woodley at UFC 228, he may have created one nonetheless.
At UFC 227 last weekend, Till was in attendance and held a media scrum in advance of his upcoming title fight. During the scrum, Till opened up about his mentality heading into the fight, saying that he didnt really care about his family because he was too focused on his fighting career.
You cant have worries outside of this game, Till told reporters. Ive got a girlfriend whos seven months pregnant, I dont really care. Ive got a daughter in Brazil who I havent seen for a year, I dont really care. I just care about legacy and greatness. Thats what Im in this for.
Those comments created a minor controversy, raising the eyebrows of a number of fans who took them at face value. But, on the most recent episode of the Obviously Fight Talk podcast, Till addressed his comments and the reaction to them, saying that his statement was misconstrued and he only meant that he was singularly focused on fighting until after UFC 228.
Its all about being selfish now until the eighth of September, Till said. Its funny, I havent even really read what people are saying but my girlfriend is sitting next to me right now, laughing. It comes to sort of right to stuff like that when my girlfriend is laughing and its offending grown men and grown women. Thats just funny s**t. It doesnt affect them.
Till doesnt stop there though. The Liverpudlian goes on to say that his family understands his mentality and supports him and that people making a big deal out of his comments are the actual problem here and dont understand what it takes to be great.
Me girlfriend and me daughter, they know whats what and she was right next to me when I was giving that interview and she was laughing. Some people just need to stop trying to be offended. All right, it might have come out as if I dont give two s**ts but right now, its all about me until eighth of September. I have to be selfish enough. And after the fight, everyone knows, downtime, holidays, going to see me daughter. Its just people wanting to be offended.
People just dont know [what it takes to be an elite fighter]. In five weeks time, all my lifes work will have led up to that one moment. 15 years in the making. I couldnt have got here without being selfish. Im working so hard and Ive had bumps in the road and there were many days where I didnt - there were some days I couldnt eat - because I just gave me whole life to this fight and now its paying off. People just dont understand how it works, high level fighting. They look for any opportunity to be offended. Its just online trolls who just havent got a clue.
Darren Till challenges Tyron Woodley for the UFC welterweight title in the main event of UFC 228 on Sept. 8 in Dallas, Texas.
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